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August 2018

Fall Home Tour Part 1 - The Basement

I've been busy decorating our basement for fall and thought it would be fun to take you on a bit of a tour to see what I've been up to. As much as I love decorating for fall, I love decorating for Halloween too. I have such great memories of Halloween as a kid. We dressed up in cheap dime store costumes and ran from door to door, covering a two block radius of our neighborhood without the accompaniment of parents. As we passed groups of our friends we would share the locations of the houses that gave out the best candy. I can still remember our next door neighbor inviting my friends and me in for homemade white cake with chocolate frosting. Halloween in the fifties was such a different time.

Back in late July I was wandering around Michael's one afternoon looking for Halloween inspiration when I spotted this.

Wreath

When I first saw it I literally gasped out loud. Not because it was well made or well priced, because it was neither, but because of that text ribbon! I immediately went on a hunt for craft ribbon with text. (It's harder to find than you'd think but I did find some on Etsy).

 I knew I wanted to carry out the text theme in areas beyond my ribbon so I decoupaged a few cheap garish orange pumpkins.

Pump

I used tissue paper from Hobby Lobby for this one along with a French stamp from some old documents I purchased several years ago on our travels

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and used pages from old brochures and magazines for a bolder, more creepy look on this one. 

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 Then I incorporated them into a tired tray, along with pumpkins, black crows from Michael's and some creepy Spanish moss.

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My crow plates are two years old from Nell Hills and I like how the twig placemats (World Market) and slices of wood add to the texture and rustic woodsy feel of the table setting. 

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I carried out the text theme in my table linens from Pier1.

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Originally I thought I'd do our mantel with skeletons but when I found this sign at Hobby Lobby I felt it was more me

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and I love how my Mackenzie-Childs canisters look with the muted colors and black and cream ribbon.

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Speaking of muted colors, I wanted to show you some before and after photos of the mantel garland.

Leafgarland

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Leaves

I purchased the garland last year at Crate and Barrel and loved it, but this year I wanted a softer look so I just scrubbed the leaves with a super dry brush of off white paint. I love how it looks more like crispy fall leaves. I think this is a cool technique for those inexpensive leaves from the dollar stores. For some reason they always seem so garish and orange.

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I also antiqued my Hobby Lobby sunflowers just slightly with brown wax from Annie Sloan and glued in some additional petals cut from the tissue and old papers that I used on my pumpkins.

Before

After

I added some off white gauze cloth for a bit of creepiness and added texture.

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The coffee table got an arrangement with a skeleton hand popping out of it along with a beaker of candy corn.

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Another tiered tray...yes I do seem to have a tiered tray problem.

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I found this cool Styrofoam skull at Michaels along with the beakers that I filled with snacks and added to our bar.

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Notice that the regular candy corn has been picked out from the chocolate ones. (Me no likey chocolate candy corn).

Here's the same vignette  with some mood lighting.

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 This next spot is our little low table with yet another tiered tray.

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This is a perfect spot for some of my Lori Mitchell Halloween figurines.

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Even the swym got a touch of the spookies

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Well, I hope this tour has given you some ideas and perhaps has inspired you to try something new. Next time we'll go upstairs for a fall tour of the mantel, tables and kitchen area.

Love you more than candy corn,  Candycorn

Encourage one another.

Suzanne

Please let me know if you have questions. I'd love to hear about your holiday d├ęcor in the comments below.


Welcome to My Swym and a Few Things I've Figured Out Along the Way

When we moved to Kansas two years ago I doubted I'd ever want to sew again. My entire life had been surrounded by creativity but I thought that was all behind me. I was ready for a change.

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The small room at the bottom of the stairs in our new home would make a wonderful sewing room but I had no desire for it to be anything other than the gym that the previous owners had designed it to be. So before we moved we sold my sewing room furniture and loaded up the treadmill. Goodbye California, hello a whole new life in Kansas City.

Umm...ya...well, not exactly.

Many of you know that my progressive idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is the reason we relocated to KC. Not knowing where this medical condition would lead, we felt it best to be near our son and his family. I am so thankful for that nudge. I'm sure Bill and I would still be working if it hadn't been for my health issues. I mention this only to explain the importance of that beast of a treadmill.

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It has become an important part of my wellbeing. Although doctors can't tell us why I have neuropathy, I have figured out on my own that I feel better when I eat "clean" and move. I also have figured out that I truly enjoy the comforts that air conditioning and heat can bring, so the treadmill needs to stay right here, in the house.

One morning while walking on the treadmill I got to thinking that perhaps I could incorporate a sewing room into the gym, a "Swym", if you will. It wouldn't be perfect - there were no windows or natural light. There was carpet instead of my preferred hardwood floor and no storage in this oddly shaped, mirror lined room. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I could make it work. 


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I started researching sewing cabinets but couldn't find anything that I thought would work. About that time I received a catalog from Ballard Designs. I knew their office furniture because I had used it in my office at Strawberry Patches.  I loved it because I could configure it however I wanted, they offered the corner unit that I was looking for, it came preassembled and it was all 25% off.

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After running my ideas by Bill I ordered it and it arrived five days later.

Welcome to my swym...

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The wooden Cathedral arches are from Kirkland's and helped break up the mirrored wall. 

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Both of the inexpensive lamps are also from Kirkland's and help a lot with the lack of light.


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My comfy adjustable chair is from Pottery Barn

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and I found that cute Fall pillow at Kirkland's too.

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There was a small closet in this room that housed a radon detector (?) and the electrical panels for the house. After relocating Bill's golf clubs I had room for a storage cart to hold most of my fabric boxes

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and over the door storage units for my doodads - all from The Container Store.

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Is it perfect?

No.

But, you know what?

It's perfect for me, right now. It's organized, cozy and most of my stuff is right here at the ready.

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One more thing I've figured out along the way. It's important for me to stay positive and to look to the future with excitement, enthusiasm and optimism.

As my sign says, nobody said it would be easy. I think sometimes what is easy is to sit back and wring our hands and say, "Why me"?

I prefer to ask, "Why me? - how did I get so stink'n blessed"? 

Now, except for that one hour a day on the treadmill I have all day to do what I have always loved to do in a fabulous redesigned space - 

Create

Encourage one another,

Suzanne

 *Please feel free to ask questions about any of the items mentioned in this post. I was able to find discounts above the discounts advertised in the current Ballard Catalog and Kirkland's offers daily discounts through their app for regularly priced merchandise. Hey, all the more money to spend on new fabric. Right?